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Feel free to post questions here about the New VS. Questions will be answered by site members who work for TransVirtual Systems and Lightspeed NVS.

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What, in a nutshell, is the New VS and what is it all about?
The New VS is a new generation of Wang VS, a 100% faithful virtualization of the VS machine that runs in Linux, mostly on Dell PowerEdge servers. It runs all Wang VS software but is free of proprietary VS hardware unless you choose to attach "928" devices for your own reasons.

The New VS is all about keeping the Wang VS metaphor alive and well. It changes the ground rules established by the decline of the VS and utterly destroys the myth that companies "have to get rid of the Wang."

The New VS runs the VS Operating System, all utilities, all language processors (compilers, assembler and interpreters) and all VS applications. All unchanged. There is ZERO CONVERSION involved in upgrading to the New VS.

The New VS is officially the new generation of Wang VS, certified and supported by Compucom (formerly Getronics, formerly Wang Global, formerly Wang Laboratories) and now sold exclusively by TransVirtual Systems of Texas.

TransVirtual also now owns the Lightspeed NVS product line of PC/VS connectivity products, assuring the continued availability and enhancement of LS NVS. In the 1990s LS NVS became the new standard for PC/VS connectivity.

The New VS virtualization technology was developed from scratch from late 2003 into 2004 and shown to Getronics in late June, 2004 by TransVirtual Systems. On January 17, 2005 TransVirtual Systems and Getronics signed a multyear contract to work together to bring this new generation of Wang VS to market.

As of this writing, 69 New VS systems have been sold and installed across ten countries, always with new ones in the pipeline. They range from small systems comparable to VS5000 to very large systems faster and more capacious than the VS18950. While some are archival, "retrieval-only" systems, most are production systems running their respective companies, and some are production systems running key subsets of applications critical to their companies.

There is no type of conversion or migration on the planet that can compare with upgrading to a New VS, because no conversion is involved. Programs are the same, data files are the same, operation is the same, and the same Lightspeed NVS clients connect directly to the New VS without the need for gateway PCs. Reliability is enhanced, fault tolerance is enhanced, processing power has higher upper limits, disk file throughput is breathtakingly faster, footprint and power consumption are significantly lower than large-format legacy VS systems, and New VS customers have universally and unanimously been thrilled with this product.

All of the things that made the Wang VS such a popular product line through the 1980s can once again be fully enjoyed, but this time with no end in sight.
Good morning Sir

We have been using the VS for at least 15 years, unfortunately, our applications have been developed in Cobol by a colleague who is no longer with us and the workstations for the VS have all broken down except one. So, we are currently experiencing quite a number of problems with the machine and as a result we are trying to migrate to DELL PowerEdge and rewrite our programs in VB .Net and SQL Server. However, as you know, migration takes time so we still need to run the VS at least for one year. I have a couple of questions:

How do we move our existing programs to New VS - what are the steps if we were to migrte to that system?

Right now we want to configure Printronix Proline Series 5. Plese kindly outline for us the steps necessary to get that done. We are using the Wang VS5300

Thank you very much for your kindness and the wisdom to keep theWang Concept alive. May God keep you all alive.

Best regards
Jalamang Jobareth
As to the workstation problem, consider using Lightspeed communication to get a Wang VS terminal emulation on standard microsoft desktops.
Migration to another Wang VS, new Linux based or classic should not give much trouble.
Together it may keep your application alive untill it is rebuild.
Good Luck!
Wim Stijnman
I too would recommend lightspeed. Have been using it for more than 10 years already. Also migrated to the virtual VS over a year ago and you would not believe the difference in performance. Very impressed.

John
Thank you, John, for your kind comment.

Lightspeed is the standard for VS-PC connectivity in the VS world, both the legacy VS and New VS. Not only does Lightspeed provide for virtual terminal emulation on desktop PCs, it also provides extensive file transfer features. On the exotic side Lightspeed also has features that allow the VS to control operations on the desktop PC and to send files to the PC and launch PC applications to display or process the files. Significant automation of VS-PC operations is possible for those wishing to implement such.

The Lightspeed NVS suite of products was acquired by TransVirtual Systems from Lightspeed Systems in late 2004. The product line is now owned by Lightspeed NVS, a Texas company in the TransVirtual family.

The Lightspeed NVS product line remains separate from the VS, and the licensing and pricing remain essentially the same as they were under Lightspeed Systems before 2005. While most VS sites already have Lightspeed licenses, those who don't should consider purchasing a license in order to have the most substantial connectivity and functionalilty for their VS environments.

The evolutionary history of the Wang VS led to several significant areas of functionality residing in third party companies and products. These include the USI utilities of Back Burner, Over Easy with Eggshell and Short Order, the Lightspeed product line, Ultrabac and related products, CPMS, and several different workstation emulation products such as DPZ and VS/COM.

The USI utilities are now managed by Compucom (Getronics, formerly Wang) and license updates are available.

The Lightspeed products are available through LS NVS, a TransVirtual company.

Ultrabac is no longer supported but relicensing can be arranged through BEI.

CPMS may still be supported by Prometrics of the UK and relicensing may be available.

DPZ, an async workstation emulation product, seems to be dead and gone.

VS/COM was acquired by Wang and may be available and supported by Compucom.

One major package is also worth mentioning: SPEED II still exists and relicensing can be done through APPX. We know of three New VS customers using SPEED II.
Sorry, this is a bit self-serving... but:
If you have a large amount of data to migrate, and especially if much of it is on tape, it may be worth considering using a media conversion service. For example, last year we helped a government agency in Qatar to convert several hundred 4mm tapes filled with historical Wang VS data. This did not require the use of a Wang system.

regards, Chris
Self serving or not, Chris Muller's company probably has more experience converting VS tape data than any other company in the world. While we don't like to see VS customers move to non-VS systems, there is little doubt that anyone with large amounts of VS data on tape should probably contact Chris about how to make the data available to any kind of system going forward.

I will point out that the New VS now has an Integrated Virtual Tape feature that eliminates physical tape and its problems. Sites that have modest amounts of tape data can use this feature to convert and bring forward their historic tape libraries. The New VS includes a standalone Linux-based utility that converts physical tapes to virtual tape image files for use on the New VS. The utility can be used on almost any Linux system and the conversion of tapes to virtual tape images can be done remotely from the location of the New VS and the files sent by network to the New VS site.

Large tape libraries can still probably benefit from using a competent outside service, though, simply because large-scale tape handling is usually too labor intensive for most IT shops to manage along with their regular work.

TransVirtual Systems can work with customers who have large tape libraries and with Muller Media to facilitate the conversion of libraries to New VS virtual tape.
> How do we move our existing programs to New VS -
> what are the steps if we were to migrte to that system?

The New VS is simply a new generation of Wang VS that uses industry standard hardware instead of proprietary Wang hardware. Since the New VS is 100% seamlessly compatible with all VS software, upgrading to it is very much like all previous upgrades from one model of VS to a newer one. The main difference is that the old disks are not retained or moved to the New VS -- the disk data is copied to the new system, either by restoring from backup tapes or, in some cases, by temporarily connecting the old disk drives to the new system. In rare cases of very large systems we have also used an external RAID to bridge the old and new systems.

The New VS can be installed anywhere in the world where Dell PowerEdge hardware is available. Since Dell has the world covered with subsidiaries, distributors and dealers, we do not usually ship Dell systems from the U.S., instead sending specifications of the system to the customer or to the customer's IT vendor, for local acquisition of the hardware. We work with the customer and his vendor(s) to make sure the hardware meets our specifications.

We send a kit to the customer consisting of DVD/CD media and a USB cryptokey. At the appropriate time in the remote install we instruct the customer to plug in the USB key and insert DVD or CD media.

Once the hardware has been delivered we expect it to be connected to the Internet and its remote control facility configured for IP address. If the customer has a firewall there are a few simple port forwarding specs that allow us to access the Dell system remotely. We send specs and instructions for this to the customer in advance.

Once connected to the Dell platform we verify the hardware configuration, verify the RAID and configure it if necessary, install Linux remotely, then install the New VS software remotely and configure it. We create and configure all the necessary virtual VS disk volumes and prepare the system for restoring the customer's VS volume data.

The most common issue is arranging compatible tape between the old and new systems. The usual common denominator is 4mm tape, but many VS systems have obsolete 4mm tape drives that are not compatible with modern 4mm tape drives and some VS systems don't even have 4mm tape at all. There are various workarounds, depending on the particulars of the legacy VS system.

We can provide inexpensive 4mm tape drives that can be retrofitted to the existing legacy VS system for the purpose of backing up VS disk volumes. We can also provide newer cartridge tape drives compatible with VS5000 media. The analysis of this begins with getting detailed information about the legacy VS system and which devices it has available for doing tape backups.

One pitfall in VS5000/6000 systems is that the original Viper cartridge tape drive, the one that uses 3M 6150 150 MB cartridges, has a rubber capstan that has passed its lifetime and the rubber is deteriorating into black mush. We have seen this in most of the VS5000 systems we have, and believe that it is happening all around the world in all Viper 150 MB tape drives. For this reason we are hesitant to recommend using the existing cartridge tape on a VS5000/6000 for moving the VS data to the New VS unless the system is a Century Server that has a newer 2.5 GB cartridge tape drive.

In short, the process begins with communicating with us, and ends with putting the New VS into production, regardless of where in the world you may be, and regardless of whether or not traditional VS support exists in your area.
When we migrate from our legacy VS to the NewVS in May of 2008, we choose to get the installation done on site by the TVS team.

Roger E. Lee came in Geneva and began the installation of our Dell server which has been tested remotely before. The installation of Linux and the NewVS was very quick.

The hard part was left : bringing our datas out of the legacy VS which was not in a grat shape. TVS came with a kind of jukebox with several disks and data tape.

After one full day of work, Roger did it. The NewVS was ready to enter in production.

I would say that if your legacy VS is not running recent data tapes or disks, I recommend the onsite installation.
Wang Tape Drives. We probally have more Wang tape drives than anyone. We would like to help if anyone needs to move old tape info to the New Dell VS.

Dear Wang and New VS Community,

What are the licensing requirements on the NEW VS, and is the native LICENSE file part of it or not?

Does somebody know whether native VS Licencing is still managed somewhere?

Our customer's system disk failed and the system disk was not included in backup procedure. So the customer lost his valid OS and LS NVS licence.  The printed copy of the license has been lost as well over time.

I installed a fresh copy of the VS OS, without the license file.  Without license file the VS functionality is limited.

And the repair effort was paused at this stage.

Any advise is much appreciated,

The local NEW VS representative in Belgium has been notified of the issue, but I'm not involved in the opportunity to offer the NEW VS solution. 

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